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Paying the Price for Breakdown of the Country’s Bourgeois Culture by Amy Wax & Larry Alexander.

Too few Americans are qualified for the jobs available. Male working-age labor-force participation is at Depression-era lows. Opioid abuse is widespread. Homicidal violence plagues inner cities. Almost half of all children are born out of wedlock, and even more are raised by single mothers. Many college students lack basic skills, and high school students rank below those from two dozen other countries.

The causes of these phenomena are multiple and complex, but implicated in these and other maladies is the breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture.


Related: In Defense of Bourgeois Culture—and Professor Amy Wax by Rachel DiCarlo Currie.

Reading Amy Wax’s CV is a profoundly humbling experience. Wax graduated summa cum laude from Yale College with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. Then she did a Marshall Scholarship at Oxford before earning a medical degree from Harvard. She also gained admission to Harvard Law School, and ultimately received her J.D. from Columbia, where she served as editor of the Columbia Law Review. Between 1988 and 1994, she worked in the U.S. solicitor general’s office. Today, she’s a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where she has been honored with the A. Leo Levin Award for Excellence in an Introductory Course and the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.

And yet, despite those credentials, Professor Wax is now being condemned as a know-nothing racist and white supremacist. Her crime? Publishing an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer that called for a revival of “bourgeois culture.” Apparently that’s now considered hate speech. Such is the madness of our current moment.


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